Neighbours ‘shocked’ at woman’s death as Kawerau homicide investigation continues

Neighbours of a Bay of Plenty woman whose death has spurred a homicide investigation are shocked they heard nothing and saddened to learn she may have been the victim of foul play.

Detectives and forensics are continuing the investigation at a house on Hall St, Kawerau where a woman was critically injured and died yesterday afternoon.

She was seen being transported onto a helicopter at Prideaux Park yesterday afternoon. Two ambulances responded.

Neighbours told the Herald the woman, thought to be in 30s or early 40s, had lived at the property for around four years and had young children.

“She was very quiet, kept to herself a lot,” one woman who lived two houses down said.

“She came from a huge family that live here.”

The neighbour said police were asking residents on the street if they had seen or heard anything yesterday.

Another nearby resident said a coroner was at the woman’s house this morning and police had been there all night.

He said the woman’s family were “locals” who worked at the Tasman Mill.

“It’s just really sad, it makes you feel lousy,” he said about her death.

Another Hall St resident said she was shocked that a woman had died, and “for no noise to be heard at all”.

“At first we thought it was a drug bust.

“It’s saddening, I think the community is still in shock considering we heard nothing.”

She said a scene investigation is continuing at the house today.

A person who saw the woman being airlifted from the park said: “Arohamai to the whanau who are going through all of this, and I pray they get answers and can mourn in peace.”

Police said yesterday one person is assisting with their enquiries and they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the death. A further update is expected later today.

It’s the third homicide investigation launched by police this week.

Mohammed Hakim, 72, was found dead at a home in Favona, Auckland on Tuesday evening. A man has appeared in court charged with his murder.

A man has been charged with murder and sexual violation after the body of Lena Zhang Harrap, 27, was found near a footpath in Mt Albert, Auckland on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Kawerau, a small town of around 7000 people, has been rocked by hit-and-run just six days before the homicide investigation.

A man, 21, has been charged after a person was struck by a car and airlifted to hospital with critical injuries on Monday.

The driver allegedly left the scene immediately.

The man has been accused of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

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